The importance of your brands response to the Covid crisis.

The great leveller

The Covid-19 pandemic has already had an unprecedented impact on the world, with almost all areas of life affected by the virus. Worryingly is the impact Coronavirus will have on the global economy. No business (nor individual) is exempt as Covid-19 threatens to reshape the customer journey forever.

The pandemic has imposed a fundamental change on the world as the entire economy is shifting, and consumers evolve with it. The recent Edelman Trust Barometer underlines the importance of businesses adapting to these changes, or they may risk failure.

Impacting across all markets

The International Monetary Fund has warned that the virus will cause an economic slump unparalleled since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The consultancy giant, McKinsey & Company, has found that only 15% of Britons believe the economy will grow just as strong as prior to Coronavirus in a matter of 2 – 3 months.

As the world watches from behind closed doors, the USA unemployment rate is at a record high, whilst March saw U.S retail sales falling an unheard of 8.7%. Coronavirus has cast a shadow over the economy, one that threatens to loom over society for many years to come.

Unsurprisingly, we can expect to see small businesses as the ones worst hit by the pandemic and its economic impacts. On the 6th of April, Marketing Week published the results from their survey of 849 UK businesses. This found 77% of small businesses suffering a decline in consumer demand, 13% more than that of big businesses.

A rapidly changing consumer phycology

Consumer psychology is rapidly evolving, whilst the customer journey risks being altered forever. Virtual happy hours, video call conferences, pub quizzes online: the world has rapidly become more digital than ever, and some businesses may struggle to keep up. The new digital world gives more importance than ever to tools such as social media, web design, SEO; and some brands may struggle to find their feet. An integrated digital marketing strategy has become entirely necessary for all businesses. Brands taking action now is crucial to their future success.

This has been exemplified by the recent Edelman Trust Barometer; showing that almost two-thirds of the global population are looking to how brands will react in the face of coronavirus. 65% of the public agree ‘How well a brand responds to this crisis will have a huge impact on my likelihood to buy that brand in the future’.

In the time of crisis, support turns more than ever to people putting themselves at risk for the sake of others; medical workers, care workers, all ‘key workers’ on the frontline. From the U.K. applauding their health service workers on a weekly basis, to celebrities donating huge amounts of money to hospitals; people all over the world are showing they care.

Never before have we seen such a ‘We’re all in this together’ mentality taking hold across the world.

Strong brands are taking action

As the customer journey evolves, the companies who remain stationary, taking little action, risk losing a huge proportion of their audience.

L’Oreal is donating 400,000 products to NHS workers, with 10,000 boxed sterile examination gloves to the London Ambulance Service. Coca-Cola used their paid media to spread the message of social distancing, advertising this on a Times Square billboard in New York.

This is exactly the type of ‘brand response’ the Edelman Trust Barometer is referencing, and the figures displayed show just how crucial this is.

We are facing a global emergency, one which is threatening to cause mass societal change on an unrivalled scale. Coronavirus has created an entirely new landscape, one which has seen consumer culture evolve accordingly. It is more vital than ever that brands take the necessary steps to encourage customer loyalty; in this case, actively engaging with those in need. Brands not only need to adopt a more integrated digital marketing strategy to keep up with the changing environment, but must show compassion. This compassion is fundamental to the growth of business, as it is on this basis that they will be judged for years to come.

About Diggital

Diggital is a fully integrated digital marketing agency; helping connect brands to their customers.

We are striving to break the climate of false promises, disagreeing with the ‘guarantee’ (so commonly banded around by agencies), that a single media channel is the route to success and growth. So at Diggital, we don’t promise one-channel solutions to achieve growth, but know the importance of reaching customers through a myriad of digital channels at every step of the customer journey.

Serving the UK, Europe and North America markets, Diggital delivers tailored strategies and campaigns for our clients, helping them engage their customers at every step of the customer journey.

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